Scale is not real; space is relative. Comparative value is continuously engaged; singularity is impossible within the human gaze. Onslaught Undone is an investigation of spacial and experiential relativity in direct contrast to the accumulated visual, physical and aural experiences thrown at us in the digital age. “Switch off” is the frequent call to action; but “off” seems almost dead. We all want to be “switched on” and “tuned in”, a symptom of the over-stimulated, over-manipulated, too-much-information era. Through a virtually continuous conversation, artists Nemo Nonnenmacher and Stacie McCormick question the nature of contemporary experience, where disconnect becomes the unavoidable result of constant connectedness, translated into a collaboration of large-scale sculpture and gestural paintings. The two artists are riveted by the “real” and demonstrate a transformation of scale, mediating sensory input to counteract the speed of networks, creating a profound moment where the experience of the work itself constitutes an interpretation of the world.
In his work, Nonnenmacher plays on the relationship of the infinite inside expansion as equal to the outer expansiveness of space. By presenting an enormous sculpture that breaks through the boundaries of the gallery, he questions our understanding of geometric and rational space, whilst McCormick’s large-scale paintings negotiate expanding volumes on a flat plane. For her, the “unmeasurable” is the impossibility of awareness of our existence in the present, as we can only observe our past or evidence of having been. Onslaught Undone sets out to practice reduction. By distilling their practices, Nonnenmacher and McCormick seek to allow the viewer to roam. The resulting smoothness becomes a fluid platform where we are encouraged to relinquish our chronic and fruitless urge to assess and “figure out”, symptomatic of our time. As Nonnenmacher explains, “undoing is not eradication, it is reconfiguration, catalysing to another space or object”. McCormick similarly observes that her process is “an undoing, a release of accumulation rather than destruction”.
At the core of this collaboration, the artists posit the impossibility of immediate awareness and a faith in the transformative aspect of experience. It is a demonstration of how to reconfigure an onslaught through finding a single note to hold onto, a compass to guide through the noise. As understanding is elusive and momentum insistent and unyielding, this exhibition puts a stick in the wheels and proposes a transitory stopping point. Onslaught Undone inevitably creates a third space, a liminal space to meditate and release and thus transform.
Nemo Nonnenmacher (b. 1988, Germany) uses photography and sculpture to imagine the relationship between human hand and virtual space. Nonnenmacher graduated from Royal College of Art in 2017 and has recently been artist-in-residence at Outset Contemporary Art Fund in Baker Street and at Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop. From 2012 to 2017 he was a fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, exhibiting in the UK and throughout Europe, including Prototypen at the Schleuse Opelvillen in Rüsselsheim, Germany in 2017 and the Fondazione Fotografia in Modena, Italy in 2016. Recent exhibitions include Acts of the Plough, Artlicks Weekend, London, UK (2018) and Invasive Behaviour, Play-Co, London, UK (2018). He lives and works in London.
Stacie McCormick (b. 1962, USA) is a UK-based artist and the Founding Director of Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop and Workshop Foundation. McCormick’s painting practice follows the principle of discovery in manifesting the accident within the abstract gestural arena. Her works are often concerned with the unexpected sublime found and recorded in photography, poetry, video and sound. Stacie holds an MA in Fine Art from the City & Guilds of London Art School. Recent solo and dual exhibitions include In Search of Paintings at Meno Parkas, Kaunas, Lithuania in 2017 and Collision with Jelena Bulajic at Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop in 2016. Group Exhibitions include: Empire II, Haus Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia (2018); Auto-Destruct, Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop, London, UK (2018); Hospital Rooms 20 x 20, Griffin Gallery, London, UK (2018); MAKING PAINTING, Freie Internationale Akademie, Amorbach, Germany (2018); We could be Heroes, MPHQ Project Space, Cologne, Germany (2018); Little Paintings Large, TH Studios, London, UK (2018);The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London, UK (2017); and Empire II at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017). Upcoming 2018 exhibitions include Protocol, Cavendish Square X Frieze, London and Miniscule Part II, Cross Lane Projects, Kendal, UK.
About Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop and the Workshop Foundation:
Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop is Workshop Foundation’s exhibition and residency space in London. It supports a diverse range of emerging and mid-career contemporary artists by providing them with space and time to develop their practice, championing principles of integrity and rigour. Through its residency programmes and exhibitions, it gives artists, curators and theorists a platform to present work and share ideas as well as creating an environment for freethinking and exchange.
The Foundation seeks to progress artists’ careers and connect them to the public. It has now organised 20 exhibitions with over 100 artists and curators.
Title: Onslaught Undone
Private view: 8 November 2018, 6 – 9pm
Exhibition dates: 9 – 30 November 2018
Address: 1 Bard Road, London, W10 6TP
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